Dear editor,

Like so many others, we are deeply saddened and very worried about the proposed council tax increase of 300% for second home owners, on top of the 100% premium which kicks in next month.

Our family has owned a second home in Pembrokeshire for many decades. Indeed, five generations of the family have enjoyed holidays here over the years.

We love Pembrokeshire and have many friends here - both locals and other families who own second homes (many of whom have Welsh roots like me). Generations of children have grown up together and remain lifelong friends.

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Our family has invested in the local economy over the years by employing local tradespeople for maintenance and renovation work on our home and also by supporting local shops throughout the whole year and businesses which rely on tourism.

The proposed increase in council tax will mean that holiday lets become financially unviable. Even if a property is reassessed for business rates (which would mean a much lower monthly outlay than council tax), the new required occupancy level of 182 days a year is impossible to guarantee.

Very sadly, many homeowners will be forced to sell, which will have a devastating effect on the tourism industry which is of course so important in Pembrokeshire.

Despite what is often implied in the press, many second home owners are not wealthy. Often it is properties which have been on the market for years with no interest from locals which have been purchased with life savings, borrowing scrimping and saving and foregoing other things. Hard work and love have been invested to create special family homes.

The way the Welsh Government has gone about this is very sadly stirring up an unpleasant atmosphere which has never been an issue before.

Clearly affordable homes need to be provided, particularly with shared ownership or help to buy schemes funded by central government. However, it is clearly political and discriminatory to impose such a huge increase on existing long term second homeowners to justify this.

Name and address supplied